Saturday, February 17, 2007


Last night (when it was too late to blog), I sent myself an e-mail that said "being anything but the fat girl is just an illusion". Needless to say, I was feeling (and still am) pretty low. Here's what happened:

We went out last night with Yoga Friend (one of my very best friends) for dinner and had a great time. After we all came back to my house, we were sitting and chatting and she decided to tell a story of how I had inspired her. Back in 2003 when we had first really met at a yoga retreat she was apparently so knocked out to see me put on a bathing suit and get in the pool in front of everyone and laugh and have a good time. She was inspired to be that carefree about getting in a bathing suit too. I asked her, "why? because I was so fat?". She stammered, "uh, no, because your body wasn't perfect and my body wasn't perfect...". Right. She is 60, but has a perfect body. I told her this was a pretty hurty thing to say...and in front of DB too! What a MORON. I had to get out of the room and cry a little in the yard. The evening was quickly over after that.

The worst part about this is that at that time in 2003, I was at my most yoga-fit-toned-healthy state. I wasn't at my lowest weight, but definitely looked my absolute BEST in my opinion. And that was 20 pounds ago. :-( And 20 pounds ago, she thought I was so hideous that I somehow should be embarrassed about putting on a bathing suit in public. I can't help but wonder what she thinks now...

I am so very VERY hurt by this unexpected slam, that I don't really know how our friendship can ever be the same. You see, now I know that she sees me as "the fat friend". And, because I struggle so hard and feel so badly about possibly being that (even when I'm not), that is something I just can't KNOW FOR SURE that someone thinks about's too deep and hurtful. Of course, I'm afraid that is how everyone sees only The Fat. Being proved right by a dear friend just...brings me to tears.

I am so insecure about this, that I can't even talk with DB about it. I'm glad I can write here...hopefully will help me forget...a little.


Lori said...

Oh, Helen, I just feel so badly for you after reading this.

She started it off with a snotty comment...inspired to be that carefree IN FRONT OF EVERYONE. What a nasty thing to say and to continue onward with it.

I don't know what to say. I've always been the fat friend. I've been SO FAT that I would be delusional to think otherwise.

BUT I don't think my friends see me as hideous. I'm the one who sees me as hideous. I guess I am delusional in thinking that they see me under this blob and I would be just as hurt as you are tonight if someone slipped up and said I was hideous. As bad as I treat myself, I suppose I think that my true friends (not acquaintances or boyfriends or potential BFs) would see me as hideous. I guess to quote my fav movie, I would hope that my friends would see me better than I am.

I don't know if your friendship can be the same; probably not. The question is this: is she the kind of person who would admit a mistake or be empathetic to you? I'm not sure if she is; only you know that answer.

Perhaps your friend is someone who is self-conscious about her age and has to put someone else down to feel good about herself. It's not an excuse (and if this is true, run! don't be friends with someone like this!).

I will tell you this. She MIGHT see you as the fat friend but I bet she's the only one. I have not met you in person but I would never, ever see you that way. I'm sure DB and your friends see YOU, the sweet, wonderful, kind, FUNNY, clever YOU that I read every day and it's never based on your size.

Send me a ticket and I do a belly flop in her damn pool with my TIGHTEST bathing suit and she can go choke on the water I splash over her face.

Vickie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Vickie said...

And I guarantee you - what you see as a near perfect body - SHE DOES NOT!

Vickie said...

Did I make it better or worse?

Vickie said...

I had two sentences that got switched - and a whole bunch of typos - so I deleted and fixed and made clearer and here it is again:

I did this exact thing once - long ago with someone with a voice - because I have a voice TOO.

She was in another room - talking and I said something to her husband - like "you can always find Heddy - she has a voice that projects just like mine."

It wasn't the nicest thing to say - and I wouldn't say it again - but at the time - I didn't MEAN anything at all by it. I adored Heddy and thought her capable of lots of wonderful things - and her voice was part of her.

And if you were in a disaster and needed someone to gather everyone together, give direction, save the world - Heddy would be your gal. If you needed a good actress on stage - Heddy. If you needed a teacher/speaker/organizer - Heddy. If you wanted someone to run your company that looked like/was a great leader - Heddy.

I didn't think it was offensive to have a voice that carries/projects/is clear - I DO - and I thought it was just a fact of nature. An asset even.

My choice of words was unfortunate and I shouldn't have said anything at all - but I didn't mean offense. Either way - I offended him and I couldn't seem to explain.

It might be that she sees swimming suits as something that is an issue for EVERYONE - not liking to be seen half naked in public - and that ANYONE - in a bathing suit - being carefree is an inspiration to her.

There are a lot of people that feel awkward in a bathing suit - in general - not because of weight - but because of bikini line, paleness, lack of tone, breast size, the style of their suit, or just near NAKEDNESS in general.

It might be that she thinks that most of the world hates to be seen in a suit and that you had overcome this "common-ness" and triumphed!

I had a neighbor that could not have a clerk in a changing room with her - could not walk around in her own home in PJ's without a robe - and just about died appearing in public in a bathing suit. She had not an ounce of fat on her anywhere - but hated the way the her body looked.

When I read what you wrote - I could see that she might think you are so bubbly and open and energetic and carefree that the bathing suit woes of the world do not affect you. That you are above them.

It MIGHT not have anything at all to do with weight.

But even if it does have to do with weight - if she feels that she has even 2 pounds to loose or a belly roll that bothers her or fat thighs - IT BOTHERS HER - sometimes the "bother" does NOT equal the poundage.

Someone that has one pound to loose can feel JUST AS BADLY and just as self conscious about that one pound as someone that has more to loose.

I guarantee you that I would be very self conscious in certain suits - and if someone was not self conscious - regardless of their body type - I would look up to that person.

Does she even know that you are working on your weight or have feelings about your weight? - she might not think one thing about what YOU see as your weight. Every body is a different size, build, type - if she said something that off-hand - she might not know that you have feelings about this at all.

Vickie said...

Ironically - I talked about swimming suits on my post this morning . . . sorry for your hurt - HUGS!!!!

Helen said...

Lori and Vickie...thank you both so much for all of this. I truly was crying out yesterday for what you both have given me here and I appreciate you infinitely for jumping in with your thoughtful comments. Now I'm crying with happiness for being so lucky to have such great support! :-)

It is very very hard for me to see Yoga Friend's story as anything other than what I have described. The cold hard FACT is that her body is thinner, more toned, etc. than mine and always has been. You would have to be BLIND to not see that. And I hope she can admit that to herself (she did contact me yesterday with an apology and I sent her an abridged copy of my post to help her SEE how I feel and she wrote back and we'll probably be ok)...maybe she's not as pure as she would like to believe [her e-mails said, in part: "Like I said Helen, I deeply apologize. I have never seen you as 'fat'............................nor do I now . Actually , I think you are beautiful (physically and otherwise too). It is true that I cannot understand your personal self image, nor you mine. You see something about yourself that I just don't see. I love how you look.......I really don't feel good about how I look. To me, you are an inspiration. I don't know what else to say except I am so so sorry."]

This whole experience has been a good eyeopener for me -- it has revealed to me a lot of my fears and pains. Hopefully it has made me even more compassionate (although I think being "fat" most of my life has made me ultra-careful about people's body images).

Anyway...enough of this for today...I've got to clean the house to get ready for the open house and pack up to go get the granddaughters and see the new grandson (no, not born yet...maybe later today or tomorrow!).

Again, ladies, thank you so very very much for being out there...sending hugs to you...

Helen said...

P.S. DB was wonderful when she said the hurtful thing...he grabbed me and smooched me passionately! That helped. :-)

Vickie said...

glad you are doing better!

Lori said...

I'm glad you're doing better and she apologized. And I love what DB did to try and make you feel better. What a pair of sweeties you two are!